Criminal Justice
4:46 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

State Refusing To Give Back Execution Drug

A Houston-area compounding pharmacy has sent a letter asking the state to return the drugs it sold the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for death row executions.

The name of the drug is pentobarbital and it has been a hard item for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to track down after the state’s overseas sellers backed out of their contract to sell the drug used in lethal injections.  

This is where The Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy and its owner, Dr. Jasper Lavoi, stepped in to provide the state with the drug. The TDCJ's Jason Clark said they wouldn't have had enough to complete Wednesday execution.

"Our previous supply of pentobarbital expired at the end of September. That’s why we had to go out and purchase a new supply," Clark said.

Lavoi is now asking the drug be returned, but the TDCJ is sticking by their deal.

"The drugs were purchased legally by the agency and TDCJ has no intention in returning the pentobarbital," Clark said. "We were up front with the vendor that the name of their company and the items purchased would subject to disclosure through open records requests."

Lavoi said in a statement that he sold the drug to the state with the caveat that his name and company name be exempt from such requests:

"It was my belief that this information would be kept on the 'down low' and that it was unlikely that it would be discovered that my pharmacy provided these drugs. I find myself in the middle of a firestorm I was not advised of and did not bargain for." 

Lavoi refused any request for an interview regarding the story. Clark said the state ordered enough of the drug to carry out all currently scheduled executions.